Diego Maradona wins lawsuit against three Chinese gaming firms

A Chinese court awarded the judgement in response to a lawsuit filed by Maradona that claimied an online game had infringed his image rights.

Updated: June 18, 2013 11:54 IST
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Beijing: Soccer legend Diego Maradona will get 3 million yuan (USD 4.90 lakh) as compensation from three Chinese companies for using his name in an online game without his consent.

A Chinese court awarded the judgement in response to a lawsuit filed by Maradona. The judge at the Intermediate People's Court in Beijing accepted 52-year-old Maradona's claim that 'Hot-Blooded Soccer' had infringed his image rights by featuring a cartoon of the star and his signature without consent.

The game was developed by The9 Ltd and had been available on an online game platform.

Maradona had demanded 20 million yuan in damages from Shanghai The9 Information Technology Co, The9 Computer Technology Consulting (Shanghai) Co and Beijing Sina Internet Information Service Company.

The figure was based on an endorsement deal which Maradona has with a German brand, his lawyer Ge Youshan of Zhongyin Law Firm said.

However, the judge dismissed the endorsement deal and said the amount of damages was decided based on the length of time Maradona's image was used and the popularity of the game. Ge Youshan said he will contact Maradona over whether to appeal the compensation amount.

Co-founded by Zhu Jun, the majority owner of Shanghai Shenhua Football Club, The9 was ordered to pay 3 million yuan for infringing on image rights and 1 yuan for mental anguish. The company must also post a letter of apology to Maradona on its website for 90 days.

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